Initiating his artistic career in 2016, Japanese Artist Yuta Okuda has consistently produced meticulously detailed works, derived from his delicate line drawings. In recent years, he has been drawn to the theme of "flowers", seeking the beauty in randomness. Moreover, showcasing his prowess as a fashion designer, Okuda has embarked on numerous innovative collaborations with a variety of brands. However, amidst the global re-evaluation of values in the face of the novel coronavirus, he offers "gratitude". His latest piece, "with gratitude", powerfully conveys this theme. In this article, we delve into Okuda's profound insights into his art and explore his multifaceted artistic endeavours.
Gen de Art: Could you enlighten us about your initial artistic influences and how they shaped your journey and unique approach as an artist?
Okuda: My first inspiration as an artist was Alexander McQueen. Although he was a fashion designer, I was captivated by his conceptual art approach. Influenced by him, I pursued my studies in fashion in the UK. While he was primarily a fashion designer, the conceptual elements I felt from his works greatly appealed to me. As a result, I've come to appreciate the significance of embedding concepts and emotions in my art. Alexander McQueen's influence undeniably played a pivotal role in shaping my artistic identity.
Gen de Art: Please walk us through the process of crafting your distinct art style. Why the focus on such intricate pieces, and how do you weave in the element of 'chance'?
Okuda: I've always been skilled at producing detailed artworks using a pen. To incorporate the element of chance into this, I found ways to create unique touches using blurring, gradients, and outlines. This approach enabled me to produce works that exquisitely meld boldness with intricacy. By combining detailed lines with random elements, my pieces achieve greater depth, offering viewers new insights and discoveries.
Gen de Art: You explore themes like nature, spirituality, and human relationships. What drives you to choose these themes and why do you find them significant in your work?
Okuda: I grew up surrounded by nature, always being drawn to its beauty, the food chain, and the cyclical nature of things. This perspective has influenced my creative process, helping me realize that while I am the protagonist in my life, the connections and relationships with others are crucial in the cycle of life. The theme of cyclicality is central to my work. The reason I paint flowers in my current works stems from the changes brought about by the pandemic; I feel it is now vital to cherish a sense of gratitude. Expressing gratitude through my works is deeply meaningful to me, acting as a medium to convey the importance of cycles and connectivity.
Gen de Art: Having participated in numerous international exhibitions and global collaborations, can you share some highlights, memorable moments, or lessons learned?
Okuda: Participating in international exhibitions has offered opportunities for interactions and discoveries with people from various cultures. A particularly memorable experience was receiving unique interpretations and feedback on my works from Arab visitors at an exhibition in Dubai. This experience reinforced my belief that art can transcend linguistic barriers and resonate with people's hearts. Through global collaborations, I've had the privilege to co-create with artists from diverse backgrounds, learning extensively from their creative processes and ideologies. For me, these international exhibits and collaborations serve as avenues for growth and offer invaluable opportunities for fresh inspiration. Moving forward, I aim to produce works that evoke simple joys.
Gen de Art: Could you share some stimulating results you've achieved through collaborations with other artists and creators?
Okuda: Originally being a fashion designer, I've collaborated with various brands and artists. Collaborations, for me, are opportunities not only to achieve what might be challenging for me alone but also to introduce myself to a wider audience, including fans of the brands I collaborate with. When artists collaborate, merging their distinct techniques and concepts is crucial. Such collaborations also stimulate mental agility. However, the most enticing aspect of collaboration is the possibility of realizing what I could never achieve alone.
Okuda's works and words deeply reflect his artistic vision and life philosophy. The insights gained from his experiences on international stages and his diverse collaborations have further refined his unique art style. By expressing the universal theme of "gratitude" through his unique lens, we're reminded of the importance of cherishing gratitude in our daily lives. We eagerly anticipate his future endeavours.